Thursday, March 7, 2013

What I Ate For Lunch (and you can too!) - Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs, Citrus, and Sesame-Soy Dressing

I am jeopardizing my job security by posting this recipe. As soon as I press "Publish", I'm pretty much giving away all my secrets and you needn't bother coming to a class of mine because most of what I have to offer is now on thishereblog. Although, at least arguably, my sparkling personality and quick-witted sense of humor shine much more brightly in the classroom than on this blog, despite my best efforts to be charming and funny here.

Quinoa salad

This salad is one of my favorite things to eat, because:

1. It's big and filling and complex and healthy.
2. It suits everyone - no wheat or dairy in it; can be easily modified to be vegan, though the version I ate today was not. (The dressing contains honey and fish sauce, but I've provided substitutions for both in recipe below.)
3. It's versatile and beautiful. The only rule I've made for myself when I make this is the following: color it up yo.
4. The fresh herbs are so refreshing! Despite either (a) having traveled from Mexico to be in my salad, or (b) having been grown in a sunless greenhouse in central Minnesota to meet the same noble fate. (The ones I used today are actually touted as being locally grown, and while they don't taste like they've had sun and bees doing them any favors, they still taste herby and that's good enough for me as I look out my window into the winter wonderland that has been my prison for two months. Wait? Did I just whine? Yes I did. You might too if you and your children had been sick for the better part of 2013. But back to that salad!...)
5. It has oranges in it. And lime juice. And I L-O-V-E citrus.

Here are some before-and-after-tossing pictures:

Quinoa saladQuinoa salad

This quinoa salad is a lot like this other quinoa salad (that's a link), and yet really different. More Asian.

Enjoy! May this nourish your body and make you comfortably full.

Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs, Citrus, and Sesame-Soy Dressing
Yield: Serves 1 or 2 people as main; 4-6 as side. You'll probably have extra dressing, and you will be v. happy about that.

For the dressing:
1/2 tablespoon mirin wine or sherry wine (or 1 (more) teaspoon honey or agave + 2 teaspoons rice vinegar)
2 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar or sugar or 3 teaspoons coconut nectar)
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (start with 1 and add more gradually to taste)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or more soy sauce)
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (to taste)
2 tablespoons sunflower, grapeseed, or olive oil (optional – eyeball it for the consistency you want)
Juice from a whole lime (about 2-3 tablespoons)

For the salad:
1/2 to 1 cup cooked quinoa*/**
1/2 to 1 cup cooked or canned, drained black beans (or other bean of choice)
1 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1 small tomato, chopped
1 jalapeƱo, serrano, or Thai chili, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional - could also throw dash of Sriracha or Cholula into dressing or on top of salad at end)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (or 1 shallot, finely chopped)
1 delicious orange, peeled and segmented or sliced***
Handful each of cilantro and mint (also used basil today - quite nicely chiffonaded, if I do say so myself)

Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.

Place everything else in a bowl and toss gently.

Gently fold all the ingredients together. Dress with about half the dressing. Put the remaining dressing on the table for those who may want more.  Serve as is or over bed of lettuce tossed with 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing.

* To cook a pot of quinoa: In 1 or 2-quart saucepan, place 1 cup quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes, or until water has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, stir a bit and let cool.

** Not a quinoa person? Use some greens or black rice or farro or pearled barley.

*** In the summer, when citrus is not in season, I make a version of this salad in several of my cooking classes and substitute sliced or diced peaches, nectarines, plums, mango, or pineapple. Canned mandarins and halved grapes work well too.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for making the vegan translation. You are brillant!